Early Care Spaces FAQs - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Early Care Spaces FAQs

Explore frequently asked questions about Early Care Spaces, which supports early language and literacy development for Oakland children.

Clarifying Grant Program Terms

What does Early Care Spaces refer to?

The name of the grant program, Early Care Spaces, holds physical and symbolic meaning. Physically, it refers to the informal spaces in Oakland where children are cared for, such as family resource centers, parks, libraries and more. Metaphorically, it refers to the under-resourced spaces of Oakland’s early care ecosystem, which includes informal care infrastructure, as well as support for family child care providers or broader early care infrastructure awaiting public funding.

What do you mean by early language and literacy development?

There are many crucial windows of opportunity for brain development from birth to five years old. Aligned with our mission of ensuring all Oakland children read at or above grade level by third grade, we fund efforts that support children’s:

  • Motor Development
  • Social Attachment
  • Emotional Trust
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Language Comprehension
  • Dual Language/Dialect Development

This program prioritizes organizations connected with informal care providers. Who are informal care providers?

We define informal care providers as anyone caring for a child without licensure or with license exemption. Informal care providers often include family members, friends and neighbors but could also include any adult receiving compensation for providing care.

Traditional education systems do not qualify for this opportunity. How does the Foundation define traditional education systems?

The traditional education systems that do not qualify for this opportunity would include private and publicly funded child care centers like Head Start, Early Head Start, California State Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten.

The grant program prioritizes efforts in Oakland’s flatlands. How does the Foundation geographically define the flatlands?

The flatlands refer to Oakland neighborhoods experiencing disinvestment and the displacement of BIPOC communities. The term flatlands often excludes the Oakland hills.

Application & Grant Details

Can Foundation staff review my application before submission?

No, Foundation staff cannot review applications to provide feedback or recommendations prior to submission. However, we can answer questions and speak to alignment during our scheduled office hours—book a 30-minute time slot the week of July 22-26. Or contact Education Program staff anytime with your questions.

How does the Foundation make decisions about which applications move forward?

There are many factors involved in decision-making. We evaluate applications based on alignment with the Foundation’s mission of promoting early childhood literacy, the Early Care Spaces’ focus areas and priorities, as well as project feasibility.

What is the grant period?

The grant period starts January 1, 2025. Grantees can choose a 12-month or 24-month grant period. If selecting 24-month period, the award amount would stretch across two years.